The www.leitrim-roscommon.com website is very handy for pinpointing where exactly the townland of your ancestors is located.
For a map of civil parish locations, see:
For a map of townland locations,within the Catholic parish, see:
The Catholic Parish of "Elphin" (Diocese of Elphin) today, is an amalgamation of the parishes "Elphin" and "Creeve", aka "Elphin-Creeve".
It is patricularly helpful in identifying whether a townland sits on the boarder of another parish (meaning you should not ignore a search there also). WIth this at hand, you can make a lot more sense of the Catholic Parish Registers, which began here in 1808.
As luck would have it, the Catholic Parish registers did record the townland address of couples on the register (although beware of significant variations in their spelling, depending on the priest). These records are excellent.
For free online access:
1. transcriptions: https://familysearch.org/search (to give you a starting point date, to save you scrolling...)
2. imaged online: http://registers.nli.ie/parishes/0556 (scrolling required, without taking the above step)
For payable online access (great if you want to cross-search for an ancestor's name as a godparent, to identify other relatives):
It might be helpful to cross-ref the townland spelling variations found on Catholic Parish Registers with those recorded in the Tithe Applotment Books:
To cut through the confusion altogether...
Check out the Archival Records the Irish Placename database:
– when you select a townland, click on "Archival Records" to find a list of spelling variations (and aternative names) for any given townland dating back to 1837 or earlier.
You can also confirm the townland address for later BMDs (from 1890-1960) on:
Elphin's "Civil Registration District" was generally STROKESTOWN but don't rule out CARICK-ON-SHANNON or BOYLE (to discover a relative who may have died in hospital).
Elphin, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland